William Morris Archive


Faulkner, Peter. "Morris and Old French." JWMS 15.1 (Winter 2002): 43-50. 

Jacobs, Joseph. Introduction to Old French Romances. Done into English by William Morris.  London: George Allen & Co., 1896; 1914, pp. v-xi.

Morris,  May. Introduction to Vol. XVII of The Collected Works of William Morris, edited by May Morris, Longmans, Green and Co., 1910-15, Vol. XVII, 1913, xli-ii.

Peterson, William. S. A Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984; 1985, pp. 69-71.

Unsigned review, Nation, June 1896, 62, 88-89.



affiance: reliance, confidence

alboun: ready

aloof: away from

anighttide: at night

apparelled: prepare

array, arraying: prepare, preparing

astonied: astonished

bailiff: officer

behight: promised

benison: blessing

bezant: gold coin

burgrave: governor

Byzance: Byzantium

carl: man

certes: certainly

chequers: games boards

churl: peasant

clerk: scholar

close: sealed

coffers: strongbox, drawers

Constans: costly

convent: monastery

cover-point: covering cloth

damage: a pity

debonairly: in a kind spirit, courteously, gracefully

durst: dared

erstwhile: once

esquire: squire

fast: definite

feigning: deceit

felon: evil

heried: honoured

journey: day’s march

leech: doctor

lighted down: alighted

lore: learning

Mahoume: Mohammed

marches: reaches, areas of land

marched upon: adjoined

master: advisor

matins: morning service

meet: appropriate

mickle: much

midden: dung-heap

nick: moment

obeisance: bow

paynim: pagan

point: time

privy council: advisors

prudhomme: knight, freeholder, important man

runagate: renegade

St. John’s-mass: birthday of

St. John the Baptist: 24th June

Saracens: Muslims

sagely: wisely

scathe: harm, trouble

science: knowledge

sendel: thin silk

sithence: since

solar: living room

sooth: truth

sorceries: magic

subtilty, subtilly: skill, skilfully

travailed: suffered

Termagaunt: a violent deity ascribed to Islam by medieval Christians

trow, trowed: believe, believed

varlet: common man, attendant

vermil: red

warding: guarding, controlling

whenas: when

whereas: because

withal: also

wot, wotted: know, knew

yea-say: agree

youngling: young man


accorded: agreed

apparelled: prepared

aright: rightly

array: place, decorate, arrange

atonement: compensation

attemperly: gradually

avail: use, value

baron: feudal lord


behest: demand

caitif: captive

chaffer: trade

chamberlain: steward

conjure: beg

cross: vow to go on a Crusade

damosel; young woman

debonairly: fairly, in a kind spirit

dight: arrange, prepare

dole: lament

dolour: sorrow

doubted: feared, repented 

gentil, gentle: well-born

garnish: supply

glaive: lance, spear

hallow: saint

havings: possessions

heavy: worried, sorrowful

heed: help

ire: anger

Latiner: speaker of Latin, scholar

lead: bring

lighted down: alighted

maugre: despite

meney, meyney: service, staff

misease: discomfort

much: very

naysay: deny

palfrey: light saddle-horse

quean: woman

quick: alive

renied: denied

raiment: clothing

Salahadin: Saladin

Saracens: Muslims

semblance: appearance

sergeant: attendant

sheared: cut through

sithence: since 

shoon: shoes

sooth: truth

Soudan: Sultan

stave: board

stour: fight

strong-thieves: robbers

sumpter-beast: packhorse

sundering: dividing

the Apostle: the Pope

the tables: folding boards for games like backgammon

the Temple: the Knights Templar, a military order which played a large part
in the Crusades, took its name from the Temple of Solomon

row: believe

tun: barrel

truss: pack

uncovered: disclosed

upso down: upside down

varlet: servant, common man

ward: guard, govern

wasted: laid waste

wax: grow

wend: go

what hap: what shall happen to

whenas: when

whereas: because

wile: skill

wise: way

wit: intelligence

wot: know